Mimi is a Vancouver-based professional makeup artist renowned for her unique artistic style. A graduate of Blanche Macdonald Centre, her illusion based work has earned her worldwide recognition and many of her makeups have gone viral. From transforming her hand into realistic sushi to hyper realistic optical illusions with multiple eyes Mimi's attention to detail is mind blowing! Mimi was kind enough to take the time out of her busy teaching schedule to answer a few questions for us...
When did you know you wanted to become a makeup artist / illusionist?
I've always been a creative and artistic person. However, it wasn't until I was a few years into my career as a preschool teacher that I decided to pursue makeup as a profession. While I love children, I felt a part of me was suppressed as I had to act and dress a certain way. With the support of my family, I decided to enroll at a local makeup school (Blanche MacDonald in Vancouver, Canada) about 4 years ago. That Halloween I decided to attempt an illusion look that I had seen online. It was a cracked face look using a black and white liner. My image went viral on social media and it really motivated me to continue exploring this genre. Since then my work has evolved into what it is today!
Which 5 items could you not live without in your makeup kit?
Which iconic makeup / sfx look do you admire? And why?
I love Mike Marino's work on Heidi Klum in which he transformed her into Jessica Rabbit. I was blown away by his attention to detail as it was a full face and body look. I can only imagine the amount of planning and meticulous work it took to achieve such perfection! Luckily for me, I had the chance to meet and tell him how much I admired his work when I bumped into him at IMATS LA earlier this year!
What is your life mantra?
I believe that it is important to compete with nobody but yourself. As long as you are honest, kind, and hard working, the universe will grant a path that is unique and good for you!
What do you feel is your greatest achievement to date?
Ever since my first IMATS, I've wanted to present on the main stage. I admired those artists so much and knew that they were leaders in the industry to be given such a platform. After attending and working at several IMATS, my goal was realized at IMATS Vancouver in 2017! It was such a great experience and honour to be able to showcase my work to industry professionals!
What inspires you?
I'm inspired by everything and anything. It could be textures, shapes, or patterns. These things evoke emotions in me and I try to convey them through my work. I am also largely inspired by digital art and the surreal paintings of artists such as Dali. As I don't use Photoshop myself, it is a challenge to achieve these illusions on my face. Also, I suffer from sleep paralysis in which my mind is conscious but my body is asleep. During these experiences, I often have frightening hallucinations. However, I choose to use these episodes to fuel my creativity and they have inspired some of my looks including the sliced face and melted face.
If you could travel back in time, where would you go?
I've recently watched a few movies and documentaries about Vincent Van Gogh and learned a bit about him. He went through life selling only one of his pieces and not knowing what an impact he would have on future generations. As an artist myself, I feel that this is tragic and I would love to go back in time to tell him how iconic and sought after his work is now. He deserves to know how inspirational he has become!
What were you doing this time yesterday?
This time yesterday, I was working on a look at home (maze face look). I had been out of town for a week and was really itching to do a look for myself as it had been a while.
This year we were honoured to have the outstandingly talented Ida Welle join us for 2019's IMAT's London. A graduate from Theatrical Make-up for TV and Film, and Special Effects Make-up studies in Poland and Norway, Ida has acquired 9 years' experience in the make-up industry, working on a variety of different artistry styles from commercial, film and theatre work, to more avant-garde work within stage, events and art-films.
Ida, (along with the dream team she assembled) created a completely unique character which she was kind enough to tell us about below!
As you probably know, the makeup application is only the final step in a very long process, from the design element, sculpting, moulding, prepaint, costume... etc. etc. It takes a long old time to create a character makeup. But what if that process was between two makeup artists...working from different sides of the globe! Well, that is exactly how Rhino Cop came to fruition. The brain child of makeup artists James Olney and Ed Yates, Rhino Cop was designed and created by these two crazy kids transcontinentally! With Ed lvining in Australia and James here in good old Blitey.
So we asked the overly talented pair if they would be kind enough to tell us more about their Rhino Cop and the process behind the makeup.